Thursday, October 15, 2015
Viewpoints Determine What We See
On the spiritual page of the Catholic Times, a priest in his column writes about his trip on the subway to a meeting. Empty seats were few, and he was happy to find one, and enjoy the trip.
At one of the stations two mentally handicapped persons, a down syndrome and a mentally challenged person entered the car and sat opposite him. They were tightly holding their guardian's hand and looking around with a frown on their faces.
Right beside the columnist a woman in her fifties, and a man in his early twenties, were whispering how blessed and thankful it is to have good health. No comparison, but it was easy to surmise the reason for the topic.
Shortly after a woman with her daughter entered and sat beside him and began talking in a very low voice. "Ordinarily, when you meet a person who is handicapped you know what to do, don't you?" asked the mother.
"What is that all about?" answered the daughter.
"When we relate with those who are handicapped, we treat them just like everybody else?"
"That is what they say!" answered the daughter. "Since they have a handicap, however, they need our help. When we have concern for each other than we will find joy, that I know."
They both continued talking to each other like friends. When they were leaving they both with a little nod of the head towards the handicapped, went towards the door. The two handicapped persons without a word, laughing waved their hands in a good-bye salute.
The columnist found what he had just experienced was something rare. Here were two persons seeing the same two handicapped persons and relating in two different ways. Their viewpoints were different and consequently, what they saw was different.
When he got up to leave he winked at the two and they responded with a laugh and the down syndrome individual gave an eye response as coming from an angel.
When he rides the subways he often looks at faces of those riding with him, and reminds himself that the way he judges the person determines what he sees. A healthy viewpoint will determine a healthy vision.